Jul 16, 2007 5:37am
Acoustic: 1970 v. 1980
THIS IS NOT A POST DESIGNED TO SAY THAT ONE THING IS BETTER THAN ANOTHER. MY DESIGN IS TO POINT OUT DIFFERENCES. Of course, we all know where I lean on a personal opinion level.
A decade apart, the Dead favored their audiences with a period of acoustic sets. Both presented great songs played sweetly on wooden instruments. Both were refreshing, both are still enjoyed today.
But they were different in approach, style, context, and content.
First, at the end of 1969, the Dead were ready to move away from the Aoxomoxoa period and into the Workingman's/American Beauty "country" mode. They were already rehearsing most of the songs that would be on Workingman's. No doubt, the had acoustic guitars handy when Phil was allegedly late for the Fillmore gig on 12-19-69.
They opened with four acoustic songs, none of which were originals or recorded for release:
Monkey & The Engineer, Little Sadie, Long Black Limousine, I've Been All Around This World.
Wonder when they rehearsed these well played numbers?
The next few nights, Phil was apparently on time, so no acoustic numbers were performed.
Then, a few nights later in Dallas, they did it again:
The Monkey & The Engineer, Little Sadie, Long Black Limousine, I've Been All Around This World, Gathering Flowers For The Master's Bouquet, Black Peter, Uncle John's
They played the same four songs followed by a one time performance of The Master's Bouquet and two new originals--which had only been played electrically a few times.
Pretty risky, but well done (Imagine the audience--what the fuck--where's the Grateful Dead??)
Next up, a month later:
Again--Phil's amp blew out, so we get:
Long Black Limousine**, Seasons Of My Heart**, Saw Mill, Old, Old House, The Race Is On Black Peter > Little Sadie > All Around This World, Katie Mae, Cumberland Blues
Seven first time acoustic songs, performed on sudden notice.
Then, in the middle of the second show on 2-13-70, they play
Monkey & Engineer, Sadie, Wake Up Little Susie*> Black Peter*, Uncle John, Katie Mae*
These are on Bear's Choice, btw.
2-14, mid second show:Monkey & Engineer, Dark Hollow*, All Around This World*, Wake Up Little Susie> Black Peter, Uncle John, Katie Mae
Seems like the had a dozen or so songs worked up by this point.
At this family dog show, just Monkey and Sadie-Black Peter ar]e played.
Here's the rest for the purpose of seeing a patternless pattern:
Monkey and The Engineer, I've Been Around This World, Me And My Uncle, Black Peter, Katie Mae > Impromptu Blues
Deep Elem Blues, Friend Of The Devil, Don't Ease Me In, Black Peter, Uncle John's Band, Katie Mae
Friend Of The Devil, Deep Elem, Don't Ease Me In > Black Peter, Wake Up Little Susie > Uncle John's Band, Katie Mae
Friend Of The Devil, Deep Elem Blues, Candyman, Wake Up Little Susie-> Black Peter, Uncle John's Band, Katie Mae
Candyman, Friend Of The Devil, Deep Elem Blues, Black Peter, Uncle John's Band
Candyman, Deep Elem Blues, Cumberland Blues, Dire Wolf, Black Peter, Uncle John's Band
I Know You Rider, Monkey & The Engineer, Friend Of The Devil, Me & My Uncle, Candyman, Uncle John's Band
The Race Is On, Wake Up Little Susie, New Speedway Boogie, Cold Jordan, Uncle John's Band
May 02 Harpur:
Don't Ease*, I Know You Rider*, FOTD*, Dire Wolf*, BIODTL*> Black Peter*, Candyman*> Cumberland*, Deep Elem*, Cold Jordan**, Uncle John* (plus Bobby Ace's set with several more tunes).
Don't Ease Me In, I Know You Rider, Friend Of The Devil, Me & My Uncle, Deep Elem Blues, Candyman, Cumberland Blues, New Speedway Boogie, Black Peter, Uncle John's band
Deep Elem Blues, Friend Of The Devil, Silver Threads, Black Peter
Don't Ease Me In, Friend Of The Devil, Deep Elem, Silver Threads, Candyman
Then the great 5-15!!
Dont Ease Rider The Rub FOTD Long Black Limo Candyman Cumberland New Speedway Cold Jordan
and the late show
The Ballad Of Casey Jones, Silver Threads, Black Peter, Friend Of The Devil, Uncle John's Band, Candyman, She's Mine, Katie Mae, I Hear A Voice Callin
Dire Wolf, I Know You Rider, Silver Threads, Friend Of The Devil, Me & My Uncle, Black Peter, New Speedway Boogie
Don't Ease Me In, The Frozen Logger, Friend Of The Devil, Candyman, Deep Elem Blues, Cumberland Blues, Wake Up Little Susie
Don't Ease Me In, Silver Threads, Friend Of The Devil, Candyman, Cold Jordan, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Cumberland Blues, Me & My Uncle, New Speedway Boogie
Set 1, Acoustic GD Set: The Monkey & The Engineer, Don't Ease Me In, I've Been All Around This World, Dark Hollow, Black Peter, El Paso, New Speedway Boogie, So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad), Rosalie McFall, A Voice From On High%*, Cold Jordan*, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot*
Don't Ease Me In, Friend Of The Devil, Dire Wolf, Dark Hollow, Candyman, Black Peter, How Long Blues, Deep Elem Blues, Cumberland Blues*, New Speedway Boogie* The Frozen Logger,
All acoustic show:
To Lay Me Down, Dire Wolf, Candyman, Rosalie McFall*, I Hear A Voice Callin^, Swing Low Sweet Chariot^
Set 1: Candyman, El Paso, Rosalie McFall, Cocaine Blues, Drink Up And Go Home, I Hear A Voice Callin, Cold Jordan, Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Set 2:Deep Elem Blues, Dark Hollow, Friend Of The Devil, Mama Tried, To Lay Me Down, Dire Wolf, The Ballad Of Casey Jones
Let Me In 83968, Attics Of My Life, Friend Of The Devil
Acoustic Set: Truckin*, Dire Wolf, Friend Of The Devil, Dark Hollow, Ripple* > Brokedown Palace*, Operator*, Rosalie McFall, New Speedway, Cold Jordan, Swing Low
Monkey & The Engineer, How Long Blues, Friend Of The Devil, Dark Hollow, Candyman, Ripple-> Brokedown Palace, Truckin', Cocaine Blues, Rosalie McFall, Cumberland Blues, Wake Up Little Susie, New Speedway Boogie, Cold Jordan, Swing Low Sweet Chariot
GD acoustic: Truckin' False Start, banter, Truckin', Monkey And The Engineer, Dark Hollow, Friend Of The Devil, Ripple, Brokedown Palace, Box Of Rain, Rosalie McFall, Cold Jordan > Swing Low Sweet Chariot
D Acoustic Set: Truckin', Black Peter* (all that exists--set may have been abortd)
GD Acoustic Set: Cold Jordan > Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Final acoustic until 1980:
Uncle John's Band, Deep Elem Blues, Friend Of The Devil, Big Railroad Blues, Dark Hollow, Ripple, To Lay Me Down, Truckin', Rosalie McFall, Cumberland Blues, New Speedway Boogie, Brokedown Palace
The Point of listing all of the above shows is to demonstrate how the "Acoustic Dead" developed organically, a few songs at a time, from four to five . . . . to 13.
The sets began as accidents, then developed into mid concert breaks, and then into concert openers. In the middle of the summer, there were two concerts that were strictly acoustic. The acoustic sets were often played only once or twice every few weeks. Over time they add more and more songs--playing a total of 47 different tunes over the year. There are many songs played only once, a few played two or three times, and some of the arrangements change over time. The new material from Workingman's and American Beauty give them much to work with--after all, they are primarily acoustic l.p.s--and are added in as they are written and worked up.
1970, then, saw the rise of the Acoustic Dead both in the studio and on stage. But 1971 would see a return to roots rock--to the tightening up of the electric unit.
Part two: the eighties acoustic stand, later on.